Tag Archives: Misfit Academy

My First Bad Book Review

I just read a really negative review of my YA novel, Misfit Academy. I’m sorry I haven’t paid more attention to my Amazon reviews. I had missed this little Christmas time gem because I was doing all of the other things writers have to do nowadays, like:

  • Pin award winning graphics to Pinerest.
  • Tweet ever so funny yet not offensive things on Twitter every 42 seconds.
  • Build a solid Facebook following of loyal readers.
  • Post cat pictures on Instagram.
  • Write a blog at least once a week, if not more often.
  • Cry while reviewing my blog’s Google Analytics.
  • Create a media kit that attracts sponsors.
  • Still work a day job.
  • Take care of the family by cooking, doing laundry, and everything else.

Anyway, I’m not going to use the reviewer’s real name.   Instead, I will call her A, which is her first initial. Yes, the reviewer is a woman. Who else would be vindictive enough to waste time writing a somewhat lengthy review of a book she hated? A man would toss the book in the trash, or delete it off his Kindle, have a beer and watch TV. So, I will call her A. I want to protect her privacy and I think it’s really funny to call a Canadian A. See what I did there, eh?

Though A’s review was harsh, I did learn some valuable things, and of course I’m going to share them with you all. I hope you are fluent in sarcasm. A isn’t.

My main character did not have a name. I thought I had named him Scott Price, but not according to A, “We follow (no name), a bitter teenager is convinced that the world is working against him. He claims to be a victim of bullying.”

Lesson learned. The next time I write a novel in the first person I should make the character refer to himself in the third person, like Bob Dole, so his name is evident even though the OTHER CHARACTERS talk to him and call him by name. In the case of Misfit Academy, “I, Scott Price, drove to school” would have worked. Noted.

A, if you had not read the book at all, and it sounds like you did more of a skim than a read, you could have learned SCOTT’S name from reading the other reviews. Just sayin’.

I might be schizophrenic. According to A, I grew up in a town that does not exist. Yikes. Here is her evidence, “Although, I’m pretty sure she said it was in Florida, but she keeps referencing Hollywood. So I either I misread (which is possible) or geography is an issue.”

In a panic, thinking my entire childhood and young adulthood was one big hallucination; I did a little Google research. BIG sigh of relief. I found that not only is Hollywood, FL real, but Alabama, Maryland, and South Carolina also have Hollywoods. So, it’s not just California. I can cancel my psychiatrist appointment now.

On a related note, I was both shocked and thrilled to learn there is actually ONE Canadian out there who has never heard of Hollywood, FL. When I was growing up, I could have sworn that the entire country of Canada came to Hollywood every winter. This made parking near the beach a real bitch, which is why SCOTT (THAT IS HIS NAME) complains about Canadians a lot in the book. Almost all residents of beach towns like Hollywood complain about the tourists. They are not racists; they just want parking spaces.

Misfit Academy is not Anime. I would likely give A a bad review, too, as she writes some sort of Anime books. Anime is totally not my genre. My book is realistic fiction, so it is totally not her genre. I’m wondering why she bought it, half-read it, and wrote a review. I’m guessing she either lost a bet or A was drinking and Amazoning.

Teens in Canada are WAY different from American teens. Either A doesn’t get sarcasm at all, OR she was a perfectly kind teen with no doubts, hormones, or mood swings. She never had a bad thought about anyone, and she embraced all nationalities like a United Nations on legs.

Buildings are people, too. A gave me many helpful hints, like the fact that I should have developed the school as a character. She suggested, “The author misses out on developing one of the most important characters of the book, the school.”

Wait. What? You want me to make a building into a person. Either you’re doing more than booze or you are actually a Republican member of the U.S. Congress. This sounds a lot like the whole corporations are people thing.

I have 50 Shades of Punctuation going on. According to A, “Writing wise, there’s plenty of comma abuse, meaning she could have used a period and the writing would have been cleaner and less rambling-like.”

I pictured myself whipping poor, little commas. Then, I realized she was talking about the fact that I use a comma before and in a serial list.  Those are OXFORD commas, A. We use those over here in Murica. OXFORD. Also, here’s a free grammar lesson for you. There is a space in a lot. I noticed you wrote “alot” a lot in your review. That’s not a word. Check out this site for more information on a lot.

Teen boys should behave like eunuchs. Good teen boys do not notice breasts or if a girl is good looking. It is wrong to notice anyone’s looks, and everyone should walk around wearing a blindfold.

According to A, “He’s intensely homophobic and objectifies anything resembling the female sex into two categories: sexually appealing or ugly. As long as you’re hot, a woman’s faults are okay.”  Yep. I have created a monster. Scott Price notices when a woman is attractive. That makes him homophobic somehow, even though one of his best friends is gay. Interesting.

MisfitCoverI’m very thankful that A took the time to write the most scathing review of Misfit Academy to date. Clearly, I have learned A LOT about myself as a writer and a creator of schizophrenic, homophobic racist characters.  If you would like to read her entire review, it is located here. Here is a link to Misfit Academy’s Amazon page. If you have read it, please leave a review. I don’t mind constructive feedback. Just be sure to Google things like “Hollywood, FL” if you are accusing me of being geographically illiterate. Hugs all around.

Me and John Cusack

For some reason, whatever great spirit there is, be it the universe, or the Great Pumpkin, or whatever you want to believe in, has decided that I must forever be one degree of separation from John Cusack, who I have admired since seeing him in Class a million years ago.  I’m talking about the movie Class, not an actual class.  I was not lucky enough to go to school with John Cusack.  I have never met him, but I know people who have, and it makes me so jealous.

I have a friend, and former co-worker (I’m talking about YOU, C!), who lived next door to him on Malibu Beach.  One time, while John was walking on the beach, she was out with her dog and, brace yourselves, JOHN CUSACK PET MY FRIEND’S DOG AND SAID HE WAS CUTE.  OMG. I’m so jealous.  If that had been my dog I would have preserved that spot of his fur with shellac or Press ‘N Seal.  I would have never bathed the dog again.  (Animal Rights People, I’m totally kidding about the shellac.) My friend moved to another state before I could fly my hermit behind out there, coat my pasty Irish skin in sunscreen, and sit on the beach with her dog for as long as it took to meet JC.  How could she have done that to me?  UGH!!

YA Fiction
I will work for reviews.

Now, I’m in this book review Facebook group with other authors. Basically, we read and review each other’s books on Amazon because you need reviews in order to sell more books, but you need to sell books to get reviews.  It’s one of those vicious cycles.  I just found out today that one of the people in the group is John Cusack’s cousin.  For real! I’m about to jump out of my skin with envy.

I have always admired John’s acting, and I love his posts on Twitter.  He keeps it real, and if you read my blog, you know I admire that in a person. While I was writing my YA novel, Misfit Academy, I pictured John as the father in the movie version.  Yes, I was fantasizing about a movie version the entire time I was writing the book.  I pictured taking my son and his friends, who helped me with the revision process, with me to the big premier.  I even got all teary-eyed at how wonderful it would be.  I mentally designed the huge, no-kill cat shelter I would build with the millions I would no doubt make from my Oscar-winning film.  I would call it the Pussy Ranch (the cat shelter, not the movie), which would make it a top search result on Google. I have such big plans.

John, are you reading this?  Will you please be the dad in my Misfit Academy movie? I just want you to produce and star in a movie of my book.  I’m sure like a million other people have never asked you this, right? If you don’t like Misfit Academy, I am in the process of writing something a little more unique.  It’s called the Lizard King Club.

Don’t worry, John. I’m married, and I love my husband. I’m not some crazy stalker chick. I am, however, a crazy cat lady (that explains the Pussy Ranch). So, if you’re allergic to cats, I guess I could be dangerous because I’m usually covered in fur. Even if you are allergic, it’s OK. I carry an Epipen and Benedryl in my purse at all times. I’m also equipped to handle a number of other ailments, like GAS. I’m including a picture as proof.

https://www.facebook.com/KelleysBreakRoom
See, I’m totally safe and I am prepared for all emergencies.
https://www.facebook.com/KelleysBreakRoom

OK, I’m starting to sound crazy, even to myself, and that is saying something.  Obviously, John Cusack is not reading my blog.  He probably has better things to do, like stroll the beach and pet other people’s dogs, and star in movies and stuff.  But, if you do know John, and odds are you do if you know me, show him this blog.  We’ll put you down as a producer on the Misfit Academy or The Lizard King Club movie, whichever is made first.  Pinky swear.